Meet the Dean

Dr. Crow was appointed Dean of Arts and Science in July 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the overall operations of the Faculty of Arts and Science, including developing and supporting the Faculty’s long- and short-term goals, policies, fundraising efforts, strategic initiatives and academic priorities.  Dr. Crow provides leadership to the Associate Deans and Senior Leadership Team of Arts and Science while guiding the Faculty’s growth and development.  Reporting to the Provost, the Dean ensures that initiatives within the Faculty of Arts and Science are in alignment with the university’s strategic goals and objectives.

Dr. Crow’s research interests lie in the areas of feminism, aging, and technology, the ways in which they intersect, and specifically the various impacts of digital technology.  In addition to her research, Dr. Crow is a co-founder of the Mobile Media Lab and of Wi: A journal of Mobile Media.  She is also currently a co-principal investigator on the ACT Project (Ageing, Communication, and Technologies).

Prior to joining Queen's, Dr. Crow was the Associate Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University. She holds a BAH in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and an MA and PhD in sociology.


Statement from Dean Barbara Crow on anti-Black racism and racist comments on Twitter

May 14, 2021

The Faculty of Arts and Science recently launched a social media campaign to announce five new positions in Black Studies, as part of a suite of initiatives to promote and engage with Black Studies.  In response to the campaign, a number of anti-Black, racist, violent, and hateful comments were posted.  We apologize to members of our community impacted and harmed by the reaction to our promotion of these positions as well as by our response in the management of the campaign.  There are takeaways from this experience that will inform us moving forward, including a review of our social media strategies and an implementation of anti-racist communication guidelines. 

Queen's is enriched by the deep intellectual legacy of Black Studies and the ongoing service and scholarship of Black faculty, students and staff.  We are excited to further develop Black Studies at Queen’s and to continue our contribution to this global discipline.

Barbara Crow, PhD

Dean, Faculty Arts & Science

It has been one year since the world turned upside down. With the global pandemic growing, the senior leadership team at Queen’s University made an unprecedented decision on March 13, 2020 to send staff, faculty, and students home with no real idea of what the future held.

Faculty of Arts and Science Dean Barbara Crow says she doesn’t remember the exact details of that day, only realizing everything would be moving online and she would need to respond. An anticipation committee was quickly formed to determine the next steps forward, a plan for the future.

The committee structure still appears on the whiteboard in her office.  A photo of that committee still hangs in her office.

“We had to make so many decisions and think about so many things,” she says. “We were caught up in the day to day but we also had to think about moving forward. As the weeks went on it was less about ‘oh my gosh the wheels have fallen off’ but rather how to we get them back on and come back as an even better and stronger faculty. We are at a transitional moment and I want Queen’s to be a part of that. I want us to be seen as a university that had a part in shaping the future, not just responding to it.”

Dean Crow also determined two principles she and the faculty would follow right from the beginning to help shape decision making and policy: following public health guidelines and caring for our people.

“When we sent out our first communication, we knew staff were concerned about their jobs, along with the growing pandemic. We said in the first paragraph that, along with them, we were also responsible for 1,000 families. It wasn’t just about running a university; we are part of a community and we would care for that community.”

Her goal was to determine how to reposition the staff to support the health guidelines and all the changes but do it in a way where they wouldn’t have to worry.

 “Do we have the leadership and skills that can help facilitate difficult decisions and make sure the team is confident in asking what they need to know in order to make informed decisions and make the least mistakes possible?” asks Dean Crow. “I really appreciate the culture of the institution that was in play around how do we care and how do we mobilize the Queen’s community to support and address this unknown event. No one can anticipate crisis, but you can anticipate having a deep commitment to what you are doing.”

After a year of mask wearing, hand sanitizing, and physical distancing, several vaccines are starting to roll out and there is a sense of hope around a return to normal campus life. For Dean Crow, the takeaways from the past year are many including a renewed focus on the BIPOC students in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“I certainly think it’s important for us to understand that Black Lives Matter has had a real impact on the institution,” she says. “Black Lives Matter has been a tremendous moment that has reminded us once again of the systemic and systematic racism in our communities. We have to ask, what did we do at Queen’s to respond, given all the tools and information we had? I think that’s incredibly important. The virus has had an unequal impact on Black and BIPOC faculty, staff, and students and we need to make sure that does not continue at our university. It's really critical and important that we engage with this moment in a way that’s intentional.”

One year in, Dean Crow says she’s both hopeful and proud of the university and how everyone responded during a trying and unusual time. She points to the researchers at the university and how they began helping with epidemiology, modelling the virus, making ventilators, and creating policy documents. She also points to the students who demonstrated their citizenship in caring for the community.

She adds that colleagues within FAS employed their skills with a group of graduate students focusing on what we could learn from our response to COVID.

There are still challenges in the offing, but it seems the world is slowly recovering. Dean Crow reflected on what moving forward means to her and lessons learned.

“The number one thing we learned is how important communication is. We continue to need to provide clarity and transparency and simple communications,” she says. “The second thing we learned was how important it is to stay connected during a crisis and how much our community wanted to be connected and wanted those communications to reassure them or keep them informed.”

Pointing to the research work of Dr. Wendy Craig (Psychology) and a recent Town Hall, Dean Crow says paying attention to the mental health of the community is critical.

“We are going to have to really pay attention to our undergraduate and graduate students - the core group who finish Grade 12 and transition to in-person learning at the university level. The first-year students who have been learning remotely transitioning to in-person. Our fourth-year students who have had none of the rituals of departure. Our graduate students in one-year degrees and those finishing them. We have an important moment and opportunity to reflect on this cohort and how to care for them.”

She says the organization will also have to pay attention to the way faculty and staff have been impacted and how mental health affects the university as a whole. “What are the tools, what are the supports, what do we need to be communicating to strengthen our ability to further move forward with the significant changes that have happened as a result of this pandemic?”

With one tumultuous year in the books Dean Crow has mixed emotions but is looking at all the changes as an incredible opportunity to grow as an institution and to shape the future of the Faculty.

“I’ve been really proud, I’ve been excited, I’ve been overwhelmed, I’ve been touched, I've been hurt by the impact of this on our community. Our Strategic Plan has been incredibly helpful in shaping our decisions. There are so many things we wanted to do and the pandemic has actually helped with that - hybrid learning, making knowledge available in different ways – there is so much to do.”

To view Dr. Craig's research, please visit


Prior to coming to Queen’s, Barbara obtained her B.A. (Honours) in political science and women’s studies and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology. She joined York University’s faculty in 2001, eventually serving as the Associate Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies until May 31st, 2017.  Prior to that appointment, Barbara held the positions of Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.

Barbara's research interests are in the social, cultural, political and economic implications of digital technologies, and she have edited collections on mobile technologies, US radical feminism, and Canadian Women’s Studies. She has worked on a number of large-scale interdisciplinary grants with engineers, designers, artists and communication scholars to produce technical and cultural content for mobile experiencesand she is also one of the co-founders of the Mobile Media Lab, and a co-founding editor of wi: a journal of mobile media.

Currently Barbara is a co-principal investigator on the ACT project (Ageing, Communication, and Technologies), funded by a SSHRC Partnership Grant, and have been an active member of the national network on pathways for doctoral students, TRACE.

Read more about Barbara's Research


In the fall of 2020 Dr. Wendy Craig (Psychology) began to probe the impact of Covid-19 on the Faculty of Arts and Science community. Through a series of ThoughtExchanges she gathered insights into the ways in which the pandemic was changing people’s lives and challenging the norms of just one year ago.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is a scholarly community built upon freedom of inquiry and expression and the equality and dignity of all persons. We strive to emphasize our commitment to diversity and inclusion and to assert the importance of non-discriminatory treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. We acknowledge and value equity-seeking members of our community and strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all our students, staff, and faculty.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is committed to Indigenous education and to supporting culturally relevant learning opportunities and initiatives for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  We are proud of our continuing dedication to encouraging life-long learning and reconciliation efforts, and of the many academic and personal successes of our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and alumni.  Current Faculty initiatives are focused on the implementation of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) reports put forth by both the Federal Government and the Queen’s Task Force.

Launched in fall 2019, the Faculty of Arts and Science Strategic Plan sets out clearly articulated pathways to strengthening and expanding our vision in the 21st century.

Set around a fireplace in Queen’s Stauffer Library, this speaker series aims to spark interdisciplinary thought and ideas about all sorts of places that matter. Open to faculty and grad students.